Hemp services provider to begin construction at former prison site

06 Jun 2019 | 05:45

    By Roger Gavan
    UrbanXtracts, a hemp services provider and a subsidiary of NY Hemp Source, a full service seed to market, whole plant hemp extract cultivator, processor and product developer/producer, will soon begin construction on a new facility at the former Mid-Orange Correctional facility.
    UrbanXtracts will be responsible for designing and operating the facility as well as providing and installing the processing equipment and implementing its food quality protocols.
    The Warwick Valley Local Development Corporation (WVLDC) will provide the existing barn compound and joining with the Orange County Accelerator they will make a capital commitment to renovate the barn making it suitable for full service advanced hemp processing and production.
    From abandoned prison to thriving business parkIn July 2011, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced that the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility in Warwick was on its list of seven prisons to be shut down to save the state money. And in 2014, the State of New York approved the transfer of the property to the Warwick Valley Local Development Corporation and the Town of Warwick.
    From the beginning, the Town Board’s objectives in acquiring the former prison were to create Warwick’s first and only business park that would produce tax revenues and provide jobs.
    Areas for sale were purchased by the WVLDC, which thus far has successfully attracted companies to invest in Warwick like Citiva Medical, Kraftify Brewing Co. Ground Control, Eden Restoration, Trans Tech Bus Co. and Hudson Valley Sports Complex.
    $5 million investmentThe Orange County Accelerator, a partnership between Orange County Government and the Industrial Development Agency, is focused on bringing manufacturing back to the mid-Hudson Valley.
    The collaborative total capital investment for the UrbanXtracts project is $5 million and an estimated 30 plus good paying jobs will be created in the first year of operation as well as local infrastructure to support area farmers with their post-harvest needs.
    Once operational, the center will extract and create high quality hemp products for wholesale and retail using unique strains of hemp, grown in Warwick, by its co-op farmers.
    ‘An affinity for the Black Dirt’In addition, UrbanXtracts will offer processing and producer services to other growers as well as a new co-op opportunity, available to any Hudson Valley farmer utilizing the company’s clones, in time for this growing season.
    “I had a special affinity for the Black Dirt Region with its hardworking farmers and nutrient rich soils,” said Founder and CEO Eran Sherin. “Last year was the first season we were able to grow in the Black Dirt. We were very pleased with the results, which gave us the confidence to increase our scale and invest in further infrastructure.
    “Our formula is to empower farmers with unique selectively breed genetics that have already proven to successfully produce high quality and high yielding CBD content,” Sherin added. “We breed our own clones from ‘Mothers’ so that we only put female plants into the ground. Partnering with the right farmers willing to put in the work and who understand or want to learn the science and nature of growing hemp is critical.
    “It’s a huge positive that our main affiliated farmer happens to be a chemical engineer,” the executive said. “We also benefit by working closely with Cornell University’s hemp research and extension team, by sharing analytics and data as a respected research partner.”
    Benefitting from foresightUrbanXtracts already had municipal approval to build a facility on the Warwick farm where its hemp is grown, when the Orange County Accelerator and the Warwick Valley Local Development Corporation approached George Sewitt, head of Business Development and Operations.
    “Having the foresight to realize that hemp is a business with huge potential to positively impact the region,” said Sewitt, “they wanted to partner with a company that was transparent and capable of delivering superior and consistent results on all levels.”
    The difference between hemp and dopeHemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products
    Farmers who have been licensed to grow hemp will be able to have their product turned into high-grade CBD oil that will be sold to companies making a wide range of products. CBD oil has been shown to have numerous benefits including health improvements.
    Although cannabis as a drug and industrial hemp both derive from the species Cannabis sativa and contain THC, they are distinct strains with Hemp having lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), which decreases or eliminates its psychoactive effects.
    Advocates argue that CBD can help ease pain, anxiety, depression and stress.
    “This is an exciting public-private partnership that will provide job opportunities for our farm community as well as our residents by leveraging private investment and grant funding from New York Empire State Development,” said Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton. “This project has spurred other entrepreneurs to purchase commercial lots on site and invest in our community.”